Feral cat shelters are box-like structures with a hole for entry, insulation and straw for comfort and extra warmth. They can be very easy and affordable to build.
A feral cat shelter can help protect stray neighborhood cats from the cold during the winter months. It also provides a safer alternative to sheds or underneath buildings, where feral cats often hide to keep warm. To build a feral cat shelter, use the following steps.
- Choose a box
- Cut a hole in the box
- Insulate the shelter
- Prop the shelter up on some feet
- Add bedding
- Add a door
A variety of different structures work well for feral cat shelters. A good budget option is a large Rubbermaid bin. A large wooden box made out of scrap wood is also a good choice. Make sure the shelter is waterproof, as moisture can expose the cats to cold.
A hole gives cats a way to enter and exit the shelter. It should be large enough for a cat to enter, but small enough to keep out the cold.
Line the floor, walls, and roof with Styrofoam to provide some insulation. Cut a hole in the Styrofoam for the doorway.
Add feet to wooden box shelters. Prop Rubbermaid bins on pieces of wood or bricks. Keeping the shelter elevated helps keep it warm.
Good bedding options include straw, hardwood shavings or Mylar blankets.
Avoid adding a door until cats start using the shelter, as a door may deter them. When feral cats start sleeping inside the box, drill a flap made out of vinyl matting over the doorway. This helps keep in the warmth.